NDDC Probe: No harm must befall Nunieh, Wike warns

Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has warned that no harm must befall the former Managing Director of the Niger-Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Joi Nunieh.
Governor Wike issued the warning in a statement by his Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim in Port Harcourt.
The state government said while it commends the ongoing probe in the NDDC, it will never support any action that will prevent or jeopardize the laudable intentions of President Muhammadu Buhari, to positively reposition the NDDC and fulfil the yearnings and aspirations of the people of the Niger Delta.
Wike said Rivers State owes it a duty to protect her citizens from danger no matter their political affiliation and we cannot fold our hands and watch anyone harm her or any Rivers citizen.
“The Rivers State Government has viewed with concern, the recent developments at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in which the name of our daughter, Dr. Joi Nunieh, the immediate past Acting Managing Director of the Commission, has been dragged into.
“However, we wish to state that while we are not interested in identifying with the present unfolding drama in the NDDC, we will not, however, fail to protect our daughter from actual harm or perceived danger,” the statement reads.
The Rivers State government called on those involved in the ongoing investigations in the NDDC to ensure that Joi Nunieh does not suffer any harm in the course of their undertakings.
The former NDDC boss, Joi Nunieh is embroiled in an altercation with the Minister of Niger-Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio with the former accusing the Minister of malfeasance, oath-taking and sexual harassment, allegations Akpabio have denied.
Meanwhile, stakeholders in the Akwa Ibom State All Progressives Congress (APC) have blasted the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for calling for the sack of the Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio.
The PDP had on Monday urged Akpabio to step aside over alleged corruption and improprieties in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to enable the National Assembly carry out its investigation. But leaders and stakeholders of APC in the state in a communiqué signed by Dr. Emaeyak Ukpong, former House of Representatives member, Obongawan Geraldine Etuk, Treasurer, National Council of Women Societies, Mr. Enobong Umoetuk, Mr. Victor Antai, and Mr. Etim Etim said the rot in NDDC was recorded mostly during the 16 years of the PDP governments in the country.
They said that Akpabio should not be held responsible for the rot of the last 20 years which the forensic audit is intended to unravel.
The communique states in part, “We condemn in its entirety the malicious, noxious and reprehensible statement issued by the PDP yesterday calling on Senator Akpabio to be suspended from office due to the probe of the National Assembly.
“We wish to state categorically that the rot corruption and waste(s) of resources in the NDDC were recorded mostly during the 16 years of the PDP governments in the country.
“The PDP governments (1999 – 2015) in the country also frittered away our resources in various corrupt schemes, instead of investing in critical infrastructure and amenities in the country.
“The nation was, therefore, plunged into deep economic depression and social dislocations before President Buhari took over on 29 May 2015.
“The huge financial resources and assets recovered from corrupt officials of the past PDP governments in the country attests to the depth of savagery and plunder the nation suffered in 16 years.
“Senator Akpabio has only been the Supervising Minister of NDDC for less than one year. Within this time, he has worked with the Management of the Commission to complete its new head office building which had been under construction for 20 years, and is working on the forensic audit of the Commission which the President ordered.”
The Stakeholders claim that the controversies surrounding the forensic audit of the NDDC were sponsored by those who participated in various ways to loot the commission adding that their goal was to compel the President to disband the interim management of the NDDC and discontinue the audit.
This, according to them, was made known by the immediate past Acting MD of the Commission, Ms Joi Nunieh, in her TV interview on Monday, 13 July 2020.
They, therefore, urged President Buhari to continue to be resolute in his determination to conduct the forensic audit in the NDDC and reposition the Commission for the benefit of the region

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